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Thread: Study says we are probably alone in the universe

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer. Plus look at our at our puny brains. You have it all wrong: arrogance is to say we are alone in the universe.
    I'm sorry NO, but that is not science. "just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer."

    It's like expecting an entire planet to be made of pure gold because "just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer."

    In other words, you can have an infinite data set yet never come across a unique combination of numbers twice. Or even once for that matter. So you cannot make the statement "just look at the immensity of the universe" as any kind of rational logic. It's just pure ignorance, faith or hope.

    We have some examples of "immensity of the universe" right here on Earth. Take for example, the number of "different" human beings that are possible to "generate" using the current 7 billion population. This is a definite finite number using various genetic traits, and the number of possibilities is greater than the number of stars in the universe . In other words if every star had a planet earth with the same 7 billion people, the chances of finding two of the same human beings can still be zero if you looked in each and every planet, despite the "immensity of the universe".

    The variable traits and probability of going from random chemical reactions to DNA (and thus multi-cellular organisms) is likely a number even far exceeding that, so yes it is entirely possible this universe may not have "life" anywhere else in the universe. That's all I'm saying.

    Now is it entirely possible that there's intelligent life as we DON'T know? Certainly of course. I just don't buy the arguments that invoke our biased perception of what life "should be" based on what we have here on earth, or statements like "just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer" as validation the universe should be "teeming" with life.
    Last edited by Exposed; 2018-Jul-04 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    It would depend how many white russians the Kangaroos can take before they drop their guard, how is that relevant, no matter, it's a good question, did i give the right answer?
    No, because my Monte Carlo model predicts kangaroos prefer neat whiskey.

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  3. #33
    An absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Here is a couple of stories to demonstrate this.
    For years a tried to lose weight bay doing a lot of walking. Also did a few odd jobs with my grandfather like to building a log cabin.

    One time I walked to a classroom with a couple other students part of way then they stopped to talk to someone. I went on then went to talk to a secretary about something then went back to the classroom. They thought I just arrived and went going around telling people I couldn't of done the walking because of the time the they thought it took me to go the classroom.

    A few years later people thought I was lying because I watch more tv then them but they did know me in the past.

    Both cases made the wrong option because they did not have all the evidence. We do not have all the evidence about life in the universe so we do not know how much life there is in the universe.
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  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Exposed View Post
    I'm sorry NO, but that is not science. "just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer."

    It's like expecting an entire planet to be made of pure gold because "just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer."

    In other words, you can have an infinite data set yet never come across a unique combination of numbers twice. Or even once for that matter. So you cannot make the statement "just look at the immensity of the universe" as any kind of rational logic. It's just pure ignorance, faith or hope.

    We have some examples of "immensity of the universe" right here on Earth. Take for example, the number of "different" human beings that are possible to "generate" using the current 7 billion population. This is a definite finite number using various genetic traits, and the number of possibilities is greater than the number of stars in the universe . In other words if every star had a planet earth with the same 7 billion people, the chances of finding two of the same human beings can still be zero if you looked in each and every planet, despite the "immensity of the universe".

    The variable traits and probability of going from random chemical reactions to DNA (and thus multi-cellular organisms) is likely a number even far exceeding that, so yes it is entirely possible this universe may not have "life" anywhere else in the universe. That's all I'm saying.

    Now is it entirely possible that there's intelligent life as we DON'T know? Certainly of course. I just don't buy the arguments that invoke our biased perception of what life "should be" based on what we have here on earth, or statements like "just look at the immensity of the universe and there is your answer" as validation the universe should be "teeming" with life.
    Bit of a strawman you have there.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Bit of a strawman you have there.
    I would say equating the probability of life elsewhere in the universe with stories of weight loss or walks to a classroom with no logical connection of the two is a textbook example of a strawman tactic. And that's what this boils down to, probabilities and the sample of one that we have.

    And just to make clear, much like an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, a sample of one is not evidence of a sample of two (or more) no matter how big the universe is.

  6. #36
    Saying that there cannot be life in the universe because of a somebodies thought experiment with no evidence is like putting the horse before the cart. The more logical approach is to find evidence by testing compounds and exploring other bodies other than claiming we are the only ones in the universe is a bit arrogant. The reason i told the stories was to demostrate how people can jump to conclusions like this study and yourself.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Saying that there cannot be life in the universe because of a somebodies thought experiment with no evidence is like putting the horse before the cart. The more logical approach is to find evidence by testing compounds and exploring other bodies other than claiming we are the only ones in the universe is a bit arrogant. The reason i told the stories was to demostrate how people can jump to conclusions like this study and yourself.
    Claiming "we are not alone in the universe" as if it's fact without any sort of evidence other than faith because "the universe is immense" is also jumping to conclusions. The sole purpose of the thought experiment, which demonstrates the staggering genetic variation we have, is to show you can have situations where probabilistic constructs of life can exceed the number of stars in the universe, nothing more.

    Other than that, I whole heartedly agree with you finding evidence by testing compounds and exploring other bodies and countless other scientific methods is the more logical approach. My only issue is that when these routinely come back negative the fallback is "an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence", a very convenient loophole that allows you to keep your faith regardless of what the science and numbers show.
    Last edited by Exposed; 2018-Jul-04 at 11:50 PM.

  8. #38
    FAITH, no science. There are about 400 billion stars in out galaxy alone, each of those has many planets lets choose 3 to be fair which is 1.2 trillion and some of those have moons maybe large enough to have enough water so the possible place is maybe 1.5 trillion our galaxy alone and there are 100 billion galaxies. your 7 billion is a mere atom in the bucket of water of chances there is life in the universe. There have been organic molecules the foundations of life in nebula and recently coming from inside of Enceladus I think you should examine your own faith before you against the science.
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  9. #39
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    I remember a time when I didn't believe in life in other parts of the universe. But now I can't see how it could have only happened once in the universe. I'm sure we don't know how it happened, but since it has happened it must be possible. Since it is so ubiquitous here it must be in other places.
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

  10. #40
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    Some years back, science thought Earth was a rarity, now we find exoplanets everywhere. To think we are the only life in the universe is in the same category.

  11. #41
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    Exposed, is not claiming that there is no life elsewhere in the universe.
    The point Exposed has made is a valid one. - We cannot assume either way based on the lack of evidence or the immensity of the universe.

    My "belief" is that life is abundant throughout the universe, simply because it is so immense. But my belief is not science, it is an assumption based on my limited understanding of science and current data.

    Until/if we find evidence then we will be in a better position to make a more accurate prediction. Until this time, it is just as plausible to predict that life is unique to here on Earth.

    Exposed's point is that it is arrogant to assume one way or the other and to claim it "must" just because.

  12. #42
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    I disagree. We must not relevant an imperfect science to the status of religion. Our brains are puny.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    I disagree. We must not relevant an imperfect science to the status of religion. Our brains are puny.
    Could you explain puny? Puny as compared with what? We can contemplate our consensual evidence, which is generally that we have not found life let alone intelligent life elsewhere. The only scientific attitude is that we do not know and efforts to allocate a finite probability to what we do not know is a kind of pseudo science. You might put a value to whether we will ever know, based on the distances to other stars, other galaxies, but we do not have the “Andromeda “ signal yet, a plausible sf idea.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  14. #44
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    One common outcome of embracing the belief that life exists elsewhere, is the assertion, (which is also based entirely on the belief), that the discovery of it, would be 'the most stupendous discovery ever made made .. with earth-shattering consequences for all of humanity'. The question about its existence, is then extrapolated across all scientific thinkers as being supposedly, 'one of the most important questions' a scientist could ever ask. (I think Sagan may have started all this?).

    And yet, here we are, (as an example), divided on which way one's initial thinking/beliefs should fall .. ie: for or against .. and whether a paper which produces contrary expectations is 'silly', or not, (as per the OP).

    So much for the so-called 'importance of the question', when it fails to unite scientific thinking in a common cause!(?)

    That the question also appears to be the prime motivation underpinning NASA's central strategy/roadmap over the next 10 years (or beyond), also highlights NASA's deviation from scientific thinking .. more like explicit indulgence in philosophical musings (IMO).

  15. #45
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    We have barely investigated our solar system.


    Those who believe that Earth is the only place in the universe where life burst forth suggest that our planet is an essentially the winner in a lottery where the odds are one in a billion or more, Shostak said. “You have to admire those people because they believe in miracles,” he said. “This is a miracle if there isn’t any cosmic company.
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley...stronomer-says

  16. #46
    The problem is when the public hears this and wonders why people are still looking for life in the universe.
    (No more comments from me for 16 hours gotta to go and unload a truck or two. Have fun. )
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  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    We have barely investigated our solar system
    .

    Those who believe that Earth is the only place in the universe where life burst forth suggest that our planet is an essentially the winner in a lottery where the odds are one in a billion or more, Shostak said. “You have to admire those people because they believe in miracles,” he said. “This is a miracle if there isn’t any cosmic company.
    Notice how he assumes that life is analogous to the joy of winning a lottery? This is telling of his beliefs.

    What if life is just another one of the unique things the universe happens to come up with?
    I mean, even as you say, we have only 'barely investigated our solar system', but what we've found from those investigations is extensive diversity in the same stellar system .. no two planets are alike in their major characteristics ... so why should there be any 'alikeness' in their less prominent ones .. like life?

  18. #48
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    To quote John McEnroe: "You can not be serious...". You guys are myopic. See only our solar system. The visible universe (forget multiverses, which are a dubious concept at best) is huge. About as many stars as there are grains of sand on earth.

  19. #49
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    We are so myopic that we see no evidence of life around other stars, just a lot of stars, you may be right but then we may never know, to assume there are civilisations on other galaxies is a nice fiction but unknown even given trillions of planets. Why not just leave it at unknown?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    We are so myopic that we see no evidence of life around other stars, just a lot of stars, you may be right but then we may never know, to assume there are civilisations on other galaxies is a nice fiction but unknown even given trillions of planets. Why not just leave it at unknown?
    13.8 billion year history, we are Johnny-come-latelys and only have achieved a rudimentary level of knowledge the last 100 years and are so self-centered as to think we are unique?

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Yes,

    He was stating we shouldn't be able to tell one way or the other, if the aliens are doing their studies correctly.
    BigDon. Yep, and to The Backroad Astronomer's snippet...post #9 "You can theorize anything without evidence."....that's true. But what if you have evidence and it is ignored?
    The relative abundances of naturally occuring magnesium in the Earth, and of isotopes in all bodies in the solar system, slowly yield to our ability to precisely measure them using mass spectroscopy, visible, UV, infrared, x-ray, gamma ray, radio, microwave, Nuclear Resonant X-ray fluoroscopy, etc. For terrestrial studies, we have terabytes of data, and the precision of modern instrumentation and quantitative analysis techniques unheard of when I was a kid. So if somebody pokes around and finds an odd piece of debris from a famous landmark suspected of being of extraterrestrial origin, and the instrumental analysis of one the pieces of debris , gives an isotopic ratio that has never been seen in terrestrial samples of that element....that's more than odd, that's a scientific piece of evidence for exocontact. Should be news.

    AH-1 is an anomaly. Possibly somebody did isotopic separation of Mg somewhere, recombined an anomalous isotopic mixture. Very expensive, but not impossible to do another"Piltdown Man". layer some foil anneal it, bury it onsite , then find it. But it takes a well funded conspirathy , some pretty good labs, and tech people, and some luck to carry it off. Calculate the liklihood that it's real, and somebody who knows about a few things is not telling the whole story.
    AH-1 is one of the most important pieces of archeological artifacts ever seen.

    It's like Family Feud on TV....the Survey said..."We're Alone!"............and nobody surveyed the pieces of magnesium......maybe not.

    pete

    SEE:http://www.openminds.tv/test-confirm...bris-733/10835
    Last edited by trinitree88; 2018-Jul-05 at 07:04 PM. Reason: link

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by gzhpcu View Post
    13.8 billion year history, we are Johnny-come-latelys and only have achieved a rudimentary level of knowledge the last 100 years and are so self-centered as to think we are unique?
    That's the problem I have with that line of thinking, it's completely faith based grounded with no scientific principals. It's just as arrogant and self centered as you claim the opposite side of the coin is, because you're convinced you know the answer but the science has yet to catch up. If that's not arrogant, I don't know what is.

    If you can't accept the possibility that there just might not be life (as we know it) elsewhere in the universe, then that's no different than religion which has no place in a science forum.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by trinitree88 View Post
    ... AH-1 is an anomaly. Possibly somebody did isotopic separation of Mg somewhere, recombined an anomalous isotopic mixture. Very expensive, but not impossible to do another"Piltdown Man". layer some foil anneal it, bury it onsite , then find it. But it takes a well funded conspirathy , some pretty good labs, and tech people, and some luck to carry it off. Calculate the liklihood that it's real, and somebody who knows about a few things is not telling the whole story.
    AH-1 is one of the most important pieces of archeological artifacts ever seen.
    ..
    SEE:http://www.openminds.tv/test-confirm...bris-733/10835
    This 'report', (and presumably the analysis), is dated 2011, so there's been 7 years to follow up on its findings.

    Has there been any progress, or does Frank Kimbler just prefer the mystery to persist?

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    Apparently the Chicxulub impact was powerful enough to eject material from earth to mars orbit in about 100 years. Not an unreasonable time for bacterial spores to survive. Of course, mars was not very habitable 65 MYBP, but there were earlier impacts. Let's at least prove there's no life on mars before proclaiming ourselves the only living things in 410^80 m^3.

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  26. #56
    Some people have to feel like they are the center of the universe so talking to them logically about the strong chance they are not can be really difficult.
    Last edited by The Backroad Astronomer; 2018-Jul-07 at 01:49 AM.
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  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    Some people have to feel like they are the center of the universe
    No one here believes they are the center of the universe (at least I would hope not).

    so talking to them logically
    Statements like "the universe is immense so there's your answer" and recollections of personal experiences in high school are not logical discussions.

    about the strong chance they are not can be really difficult.
    Strong chance? How do you come up with that conclusion with a sample of one? Exercises in probability are not evidence in of itself, and I gave an example of this fallacy in which it can be shown genetic variations can easily exceed 'the immensity of the universe".

    As have been repeated earlier we cannot assume either way based on the lack of evidence or the immensity of the universe. For some reason THIS is a concept difficult to grasp by "some people".

    No one is saying point blank there is no life elsewhere in the universe. The problem (at least mine is) is people stating point blank THERE IS life elsewhere in the universe without a need to go about proving it, i.e. faith based statements like "because it's a big universe". This begets a bias that is clearly evident in the other thread in Life & Space (where this thread also belongs btw) where there is resistance when statements jumping to conclusions about hydrophobic molecules are corrected.
    Last edited by Exposed; 2018-Jul-07 at 07:03 PM.

  28. #58
    If you listened to any science podcasts like this week in science where I first heard hydrophobic molecules then you might consider you complaint more seriously.

    The general complaint is that this paper comes saying there is no life in the universe just based on some math ran in a computer without any observational or experimental is wrong and also might hinder SETI researchers in getting funding in the future. The main difference between jumping to conclusions whether a molecule is hydrophobic or not and what they did is that the people claiming a molecule is hydrophobic they have evidence.

    If you don't think there is no life in the universe why are you fighting this.
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  29. #59
    Let us say that the two of us land on an deserted island. You sit there and ran calculations on the chances of other humans on the island and figure that there is none, and I look around and find a tiny piece of paper.
    Is there human life on the island, a great chance of life on the island or no life on the island?
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  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    If you listened to any science podcasts like this week in science where I first heard hydrophobic molecules then you might consider you complaint more seriously.
    The original paper does not reference these organic molecules as hydrophobic molecules and the presence of complex carbon molecules are not itself indicative of "life" any less different than considering methane or ammonia as indicative of life as well. The paper even describes the process of the film forming via natural geothermal activity.

    The only one "jumping to conclusions" is yourself as you have shown in that thread, because you already are convinced of the "answer" in this one.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/startsw.../#46842264d684


    The general complaint is that this paper comes saying there is no life in the universe just based on some math ran in a computer without any observational or experimental is wrong
    Are you stating outright there IS "life" elsewhere in the universe without any observational or experimental evidence? How do you determine what is "wrong" and what is "right"?

    and also might hinder SETI researchers in getting funding in the future.
    Funding for SETI is the last of our worries if sound scientific principals are tossed aside for assumptions taken for fact such as "the universe is immense so there's your answer".


    If you don't think there is no life in the universe why are you fighting this.
    Again, I am not saying there is no "life" elsewhere in the universe. What I AM saying is that this question needs to be approached scientifically and not under the guise of faith ("I believe we cannot be alone in the universe") or flawed assumptions ("the universe is too big, therefore we cannot possibly be alone"). Not only is that kind of bias against every known scientific principal, it essentially muddies any kind of objective reasoning...which is clearly shown in your responses in the Enceladus thread.
    Last edited by Exposed; 2018-Jul-07 at 11:33 PM.

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